[ verb oh-ver-bur-dn; noun oh-ver-bur-dn ]
/ verb ˌoʊ vərˈbɜr dn; noun ˈoʊ vərˌbɜr dn /

verb (used with object)

to load with too great a burden; overload: He was overburdened with cares.


an excessive burden.
Also called burden, capping. Mining. waste earth and rock covering a mineral deposit.

Nearby words

  1. overbought,
  2. overbrake,
  3. overbreak,
  4. overbudget,
  5. overbuild,
  6. overburdened,
  7. overburdensome,
  8. overbuy,
  9. overcall,
  10. overcame

Origin of overburden

First recorded in 1570–80; over- + burden1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overburden

British Dictionary definitions for overburden


verb (ˌəʊvəˈbɜːdən)

(tr) to load with excessive weight, work, etc

noun (ˈəʊvəˌbɜːdən)

an excessive burden or load
geology the sedimentary rock material that covers coal seams, mineral veins, etc
Derived Formsoverburdensome, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for overburden



also over-burden, "to put too much weight on," 1530s, from over- + burden (v.). Earliest uses are figurative. Related: Overburdened; overburdening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper